She’s a teenage girl of Secondary School age who can calculate empirically without the help of calculator in hot sun selling parboiled maize, a stone’s throw from her is another one of her age hawking rice and beans, before them is a young widow of twenty something years selling “masa” all at most of the junctions bedevilled in Northern cities in Nigeria.
Women are the image-makers of every society, the importance of girl-child education cannot be over emphasized, for when you educate a girl, you educate a generation. Education allows her to be better prepared and equipped to handle challenges life may throw on her, an educated mother ensures her children are educated even better than their father.
The fact that government-owned schools are nothing but a rotten structures handled by unskilled teachers is not enough reason to ignore a half loaf while battling with deadly hunger.
Lets not delve into the wide disparism between the North and South in terms of girl-child involvement, historically, Nana Asma’u, Queen Amina were known to have set the face of North Western Nigeria during their time but from a rough survey I carried in my locality, the rate of educated females above 35 is higher than those below whom even the lucky to be in universities or colleges are from families with educational and strong financial background. What is the future of potential academic dons who will succeed the likes of Profs Aisha Madawaki, Zainab Alkali, Asabe Kabiru Usman and others numerous to mention in poor families who roam streets from dawn to dusk?
With girls as young as six, who should be in the four walls of a classroom hawking pepper, cheese or pure water. Our politicians need to end the era of needing women in their campaign trains and not cabinet to take measures to salvage our image-makers from the quagmire of ignorance, illiteracy and discrimination. I’ll recommend increase in “Girls only” schools and skill acquisition centers, scholarships for females in tertiary institutions, sponsoring those with poor background and 35% female-inclusion in our various ways of life. The states ministries for women affairs should also be put in order to accommodate the needs of women. What is the future of North when females are denied rights to learn in academic settings or play their roles in public domains.
I don’t know who discovered water but I’m certainly sure it’s not the fish. If begging, hawking, child abuse and gender discrimination are not societal crimes, definitely, western education is not a sin. Our religious leaders and traditional institutions should pay more attention to girl-child education in their domains.
My profound hope is in the traditional councils, Civil societies, Local Government Authorities and pressure groups within North, instead of free tickets to Israel or Saudi Arabia or donating motorcycles to ‘party boys’, investing in humans is the best business. Recently, two Zuru daughters; Hadiza Musa Sami and Hussaina Sani Tadurga broke jinx in their respective universities as first female first class graduates of Statistics and Biochemistry from Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aleiru and Sokoto State University respectively. If support is not granted, these excellent brains may end their careers in ‘kitchen, living room and other room’.
A child cannot drink from an empty cup, women are needed in all aspects of life. We have one or no choice now, our land is failing educationally with mothers of tomorrow wallowing streets instead of learning to inquire, acquire, aspire and inspire; how to look after themselves and others, how to stand on their own two feet and contribute their quota in the society.
Culled from DPH NEWS